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“SOUL MASSAGE”

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Zulunkhuni River Lodge
Denmark
1 review
“SOUL MASSAGE”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2012

I stayed at Zulunkhuni River Lodge for 2 weeks while volunteering for the near by project Phunzira (www.phunzira.co.uk). Greatest place ever - esp. for those who want to get away from tourism and enjoy silence. And!!! Good food, fantastic nature, friendly hosts. JUST GO THERE!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank drappadot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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71 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
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  • Japanese first
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English first
Peterborough, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2011

Zulunkhuni River Lodge is a hidden gem. We met Charlie in Nhaka Bay and he convienced us to take a chance to go somewhere truly magical. The Illala had left a day early??? and we hired a private boat to take us what ended up being a 6 hour tour of beautiful lake Malawi that was filled with swiming and even stopping in another village to get spark plugs to fix our boat. Rware is one of the most beautiful places Ive ever seen with waterfalls, swimming, hiking and a perfect place to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Zulukhuni is engaged with the local community and has helped bring new development project to the otherwise very remote area. The locals of Rware are truly resilent and Im so happy to read about the developments happening in their community from education, farming and healthcare as a result. We came to Zulunkhuni River Logde by pure chance and it ended up being a highilight in our 3 month tour through central Africa. Thanks again Charlie for this remarkable experience and I hope that we will return someday to stay longer. Cheers.
Lisa and Mike

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2011

Firstly, my immense apologies for the delay in leaving a review. I was here in late May 2011 and stayed for a week, which was over all too quickyl.

It was only when finally going thru and editing my African photos, and coming across the Zulunkhuni pics, and reliving my time here that reminded me that I REALLY should leave a review. To not do so would be an injustice.

As previous reviews mentioned, it does require some dedication and effort to get here, but that effort is most definitely worth it.

It is the remoteness, the lack of electricity and contact with the outside world that sets this place apart. That, and the wonderful managers, Charlie and Sally (and brother Matt) and staff......and the food! The cooks do a sterling job, especially given the remoteness of the location, to dish up the meals they do. Dee-lish.

I did happen to get sick while I was there, and the care the managers showed, upgrading me from dorm to the Stone House for additional privacy, was thoughtful and appreciated.

One thing, I would suggest to visitors, would be to take sufficient cash for your stay, as there is obviously no ATM or facility to pay by credit. I did overspend while there and nearly depleted my cash supplies, and so was kind of lucky that I did leave when I did (even though I didn't really want to!)

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank freetoeknee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2011

You know when you discover a wonderful band/film/artist before 'the masses' (and then you kind of resent it when other people start to find out about it and it becomes popular)? Well, Ruarwe will give you that same bitter-sweet feeling of superiority. Sweet, because you've seen and experienced quite possibly the closest thing to the myth of Eden; bitter, only because you have to leave. Even better - the remote location means that Ruarwe and Zulunkhuni River Lodge probably won't be over-run and spoiled any time soon. Thank goodness, I can always go back...

Getting there - I caught the Ilala in and hiked out. The hike was fantastic. Easy to do in a day, with stops for meals/swims/chats along the stunning way.

I spent a week here and didn't run out of things to do. Walks, swimming, snorkeling, diving off various rocks and balconies... The food is great, the company even better.

Malawi was by far my favorite country in southern Africa, and Zulunkhuni very high on a long list of places visited. Don't miss it.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank R K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo, Norway
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2011

It's not hard to get there, as long as you plan (the african way) how to get there ahead. The travel there is in itself a treat, as the ferry (the Ilala) is very pleasant, and the truck (Mzuzu-Usisiya) is a quite exciting way of travel.
The lodge in itself is as all others here say a real gem. Beautiful surroundings excellent for small hikes, a beautiful river excellent for swimming/jumping from cliffs etc, and of course Lake Malawi.
We stayed at the Stone House, with our own beautuful balcony, it felt like a quasi honeymoon for us as a couple. The staff and managers created a good atmosphere. Go there, don't miss out!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Erik C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
zulunkhuni, Owner at Zulunkhuni River Lodge, responded to this review, 14 October 2011
Thanks Eric for the wonderful review, and for letting us know you had a good time. It`s always nice to hear from people again, please stay in touch.
Charlie and the Zulunkhuni gang
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2011

I spent a few nights in Zulunkhuni, concluding a 10-month stay in Malawi. Of all the lodges I visited this stands out as leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.

Part of the charm is the pilgrimage that must be made to get to Zulunkhuni River Lodge. I chose to hike from Usisya (a lake-shore town accessible by daily truck from Mzuzu, or by boat from Nkhata Bay), where I had been staying for several weeks. Usisya has a couple of "local" lodges should you need to stay a night, though nothing really catering for the tourist market. The hike from Usisya to Ruarwe is a hike, not a casual stroll, and with a ridiculous backpack (well over 25kg) and wearing flip flops, it took me around 6-7 hours.

The food was fabulous and eating evening meals (set menu) together with the other guests and the lodges owners added a lovely friendly dynamic. A longer-term volunteer or two, amongst a real hodge-podge of artists and travellers made from really interesting conversation.

While travelling in Africa, I have often been troubled by the relationship of ex-pat business people with their communities. Once again, Zulunkhuni does brilliantly in this regard. From the lodges' beginnings - proposed to Charlie, the owner, by a local chief - to its ongoing involvement in community projects, this lodge actively participates in the local community, rather than resenting it!

A real treat - such exquistely beautiful settings and such a friendly atmosphere, in a large part due to the lovely owners, means I certainly hope to make a return trip some day.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sara_Ebb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
zulunkhuni, Owner at Zulunkhuni River Lodge, responded to this review, 12 September 2011
Thankyou so much for the lovely review.
It really is nice to hear from an outside source not only how beautiful our place is but that our community development work is noticed by our guests as well.
We certainly shall keep up the hard work and reviews like this really give us some extra drive.
We have also been troubled in the past by some business owners relationships with their communities and have often thought to ourselves "if everyone ires you so much why the hell do you live here?"
We must however voice our belief that the vast majority of lodge owners we have met in Malawi have a true love of their local communities and of Malawi in general. Although this is probably more due to the average Malawians character than the saintlihood of every Muzungu that comes through.
Thanks again for the lovely words.

Charlie Harper (co-owner)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2011

I am loathe to describe how brilliant this place is, in case it becomes swamped. But only the adventurous will get this far =and it is worth the effort a million fold. Yes, it takes nearly 24 hours from home in England to Lake Malawi. And then a few days on the big ship Ilala to Zulunknuni - but what a welcome you receive from Charlie, Sally and the villagers. It's like arriving on the set from a 1930s Tarzan film, but for real. Where else can you go to sleep with your door open to the lake, the sound of tiny birds, and a huge friendly dog lieing on the doorstep in case a baboon should saunter past? Great food, and excellent value. Next time I shall stay much longer. There's no free parking - but the nearest car is several hours by water away. Plenty of room to park your canoe though.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank JanieHampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zulunkhuni River Lodge

Property: Zulunkhuni River Lodge
Address: T/A Boghoyo | Ruarwe Village, Nkhata Bay, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Northern Region > Nkhata Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Nkhata Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amongst granite cliffs, indigenous forest and cascading waterfalls, our low price lakeside accommodation is complemented by a fantastic restaurant/bar, and activities on offer include hiking, snorkeling, fishing, cliff jumping and cultural tours of the surrounding communities. Supporting the local economy, we also offer volunteering opportunities. ... more   less 

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